Archive for January, 2010

Book Budget Burning Holes in Your Pockets?

How to save money on books.

So Many Books, So Little Money.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/coyotejack/ / CC BY 2.0

Are you an avid reader, but don’t currently have spending money for books?
Check out these money-saving tips that will help you keep up with the best-sellers without draining the bank.

1. The Public Library

Most people are familiar with their local public library, but if you haven’t yet taken advantage of this great, free resource, here are some reasons why we think you should.

Public libraries are plentiful. Wherever you reside, there is bound to be one in easy driving distance to your home or work.
A library card is free. Just show your state ID and get a free library card. There is no charge to check out books from a public library, and there are only nominal fees if your book is overdue. Check with the library about due date extensions and ways to avoid fees if you’re concerned about not getting a book returned on time.
Not just for studying. Libraries aren’t just for studies anymore. While you can still find the dusty reference books in the back, libraries are packed with popular fiction of every genre. Find brand new best-sellers, recommendations from library workers, magazines, books for children and teenagers, and more. You can even join a book club through the library or check out book club selections on display for suggestions of popular reads.
Entertainment Triumvirate. If you’re like most people, books are not your sole (or even your primary) form of entertainment. Did you know you can also checkout DVDs and CDs for free from your local library? It’s true! At some libraries, the return date may be less than the standard 2 weeks, but you are able to take home DVDs, VHS tapes, CDs and both books and music on Cassette Tape. Why rent a movie for five bucks when you can get a selection for the entire family for free?
Order Books. If the selection at your local branch of the library is less than desirable you can have books transferred from neighboring branches or even request titles to be carried by your library branch. Check with the information desk or the library website for details on how to get the exact titles or authors you really want.

Find a public library near you.

Stack of library books.

Library books make for free reading.

2. Book Swaps

If you’re lucky enough to have a plethora of already-read books on your bookshelves, one of the many book swapping opportunities may be right for you.

PaperbackSwap.com

When you register and add at least 10 books of yours that you’re willing to “swap,” you will get two credits for free books from other members. Just search for a book you want, request it, and the owner will ship it to you for free. When someone requests one of the books you’ve listed on the site, you will ship it to them via USPS media mail (usually around $2 per book). After you’ve sent a book to someone, you will receive another book “credit” allowing you to pick out another book for free. Essentially, it works out to about $2 per book trade with 2 freebies given to you when you sign up. If you’re an avid reader and like to keep some of your books instead of returning them to the library, this is the service for you.PaperBackSwap.com - Book Club to Swap, Trade & Exchange Books for Free.

Bookins.com

When you register at Bookins, you automatically receive 15 free points, good for about 3 books. All you pay for is shipping, currently $4.49 per book that you receive – free for books you send to others. Books are worth different point values depending on how popular a title is.

SwapTree.com

Similar to PaperBackSwap, this online service lets you add items to a “have” list and a “want” list. The powerful matching software then finds someone who has something you want and sets up a trade between the two of you. No need to purchase packing materials; just print out a shipping wrapper and ship via Media Mail. By referring friends to the service you also earn free shipping. What’s more, this website trades not only books, but also CDs, DVDs, and video games.

Bookcrossing.com

BookCrossing is earth-friendly, and gives you a way to share your books, clear your shelves, and conserve precious resources at the same time. Through our own unique method of recycling reads, BookCrossers give life to books. Here’s how it works. Register with BookCrossing, take the books you don’t need anymore, register them on the site, then mark the books with a unique tracking code. Pass the coded books along to a friend or “release” them into the wild. If someone finds your book and visits the site, you get to “track” where your book has been and follow its adventure all over the world. You can also use book crossing to “hunt” for books near you. Just select your state and city from a list and you can see where people near you have released books that you can go find and take home for yourself. There are also BookCrossing Zones all over the world where books get exchanged on a regular basis.

Need to save money on costly College textbooks? Use SwapBooks to cheaply buy, sell, and swap textbooks.

Trade for books and everything else (and I do mean, everything!) on sites like TitleTrader.com and BarterQuest.com. TitleTrader lets you earn trading points to redeem for what you want and BarterQuest is a cashless trading site. A trade occurs when a user makes an trade offer, another user accepts the offer, and the first user confirms the trade. Trades can be for any type of good, service, or even real estate.